The argument from authority fallacy is defined as follows according to wikipedia.
The appeal to authority may take several forms. As a statistical syllogism, it will have the following basic structure: Most of what authority a has to say on subject matter S is correct. a says p about S. Therefore, p is correct.
The strength of this argument depends upon two factors:
Fallacious arguments from authority often are the result of failing to meet at least one of the two conditions from the previous section. Specifically, when the inference fails to meet the first condition, this is sometimes called an "appeal to inappropriate authority". This occurs when an inference relies on individuals or groups without relevant expertise or knowledge.
- The authority is a legitimate expert on the subject.
- A consensus exists among legitimate experts on the matter under discussion.
A theist would say, that god is the ultimate expert. However, this fail the second part of the argument, that authority has to be stating a wildly held conclusion. That is where the violation of the fallacy comes into play. A correct use for example of the appeal to authority, would be using the work of richard dawkins to prove evolution. God also fails this, because if a authority is acting alone then logically its possible to be incorrect by this defintion. A theist may say that its a matter of faith as to only way to ensure correctness, but faith is not verifiable, or logical. Its just circular, assuming your conclusion unless proven otherwise. So speaking purely logically, god can then be wrong. In other words, authority alone doesn't imply correctness is most instances. And god is not exempt from this. This is not the matter of say mars being a planet or what the gravitational constant is. This is a whole different senario. If god commits a murder its still murder.
Point being. What the christian god does then isn't automatically good unless it can be proven to be good.
Another way to look at is by analogy. Noam Chomsky may for example make a point about US foreign policy. Chomsky knows a lot about US foreign policy but he can still be wrong from a purely logical standpoint. He could be right, but just because he is Chomsky that doesn't make him right.
Same goes with God, it may be morally right for a omniscient and omni benevolent god to create a world knowing the possibility of a Noah's Ark like event or something of that variety. But just because he is god doesn't automatically make him right and us wrong. Unless of course, logic and its correctness is meaningless.
This comes to a final conclusion that helped to destroy my faith. And its in a sense, a proof by contradiction.
We all, particularly the more polisci, 20th century literate people on this site are aware of the kinds of things, stalin or hitler or mao did.
I am going provide two examples from 20th century history. One is from Mao
The campaign against the 'Four Pests' was initiated in 1958 as a hygiene campaign by Mao Zedong, who identified the need to exterminate mosquitoes, flies, rats, and sparrows. Sparrows – mainly the Eurasian Tree Sparrow – were included on the list because they ate grain seeds, robbing the people of the fruits of their labour. The masses of China were mobilized to eradicate the birds, and citizens took to banging pots and pans or beating drums to scare the birds from landing, forcing them to fly until they fell from the sky in exhaustion. Sparrow nests were torn down, eggs were broken, and nestlings were killed. Sparrows and other birds were shot down from the sky, resulting in the near-extinction of the birds in China. Non-material rewards and recognition were offered to schools, work units and government agencies in accordance with the volume of pests they had killed.
By April 1960, Chinese leaders realized that sparrows ate a large amount of insects, as well as grains. Rather than being increased, rice yields after the campaign were substantially decreased. Mao ordered the end of the campaign against sparrows, replacing them with bed bugs in the ongoing campaign against the Four Pests. By this time, however, it was too late. With no sparrows to eat them, locust populations ballooned, swarming the country and compounding the ecological problems already caused by the Great Leap Forward, including widespread deforestation and misuse of poisons and pesticides. Ecological imbalance is credited with exacerbating the Great Chinese Famine in which upwards of 30 million people died of starvation.
To me this is identical to the behavior of the god of the old testament. Mao would had to known what would have happened by doing this. You would have to be a awlful retarded fool not too. The action could have been avoided or the problem solved a different way.
God, omniscient, creates us knowing what would happen and knowing what he would have to do, or at the very least he would have been aware of the possibilities. He is a active participant in our own suffering much like mao with the negligence of the four pest campaign.
Point of those verses is to say it was god's choice to create us.
16 For by6 him all things were created, lin heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether mthrones or ndominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created othrough him and for him.
11 e“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for fyou created all things,
and gby your will they existed and were created.”
The second example I intend to give, is one from Stalin, and that is the act known as Holodomor.
During the 1930s, the Soviet Union was dominated by Joseph Stalin, who sought to reshape Soviet society with aggressive economic planning. As the leader of the Soviet Union, he constructed a massive bureaucracy that was responsible for millions of deaths as a result of repressive policies. During his time as leader of the Soviet Union, Stalin made frequent use of his secret police, prisons, and nearly unlimited power to reshape Soviet society.
A campaign of political repression, including arrests, deportations, and executions of better-off peasants and their families occurred from 1929–1932. The richer peasants were labeled kulaks and considered class enemies. More than 1.8 million peasants were deported in 1930–1931.  The stated purpose of the campaign was to fight the counter-revolution and build socialism in the countryside. This policy was accomplished simultaneously with collectivization in the Soviet Union and effectively brought all agriculture in the Soviet Union under state control.
The "liquidation of the kulaks as a class" was announced by Stalin on December 27, 1929. The decision was formalized in a resolution, "On measures for the elimination of kulak households in districts of comprehensive collectivization", on January 30, 1930. The kulaks were divided into three categories: those to be shot or imprisoned as decided by the local secret political police; those to be sent to Siberia, North, the Urals, or Kazakhstan, after confiscation of their property; and those to be evicted from their houses and used in labour colonies within their own districts.
The combination of the elimination of kulaks, collectivization, and other repressive policies contributed to mass starvation in many parts of the Soviet Union and the death of at least 14.5 million peasants in 1930–1937.
While it can be argued that stalin was not directly responsible for Holodomor. This is a bit similar to kind of defences theists give against the problem of evil, when defending molinism. If the view, that i first discovered in regards to this incident is correct. It is almost perfect as far as analogy to the Noah's ark or Sodam and Gomorrah.
Now, to the point about argument from authority and proof by contradiction. If we find things like, the four pest campaign or holodomor as morally evil actions. Then we can't give god a pass at all. One could argue that god's authority makes a exception but if that is fallacious(as I have already pointed out) then by all rights, the god of the bible would have to be morally evil. You can't be morally evil and omnibenevolent and of perfect morals.
Though even if god was allowed a exemption in this cause, it would still mean the god of the bible is evil. We know this by A: How we developed our morals and B: A hypocrisy. The hypocrisy is the words "shall not kill." If that is god's rule for himself, and he choose to create us, that would mean then omnibenevolence has been violated because, invariably something like omnibenevolence would include self sacrifice.
He even if he wanted to wouldn't have created us then due to his omnibenevolence. It also shows that he evil because he created this world. We may exist for his pleasure but if he is omnibenevolent and can't do any better then this then he logically shouldn't have created us. He can't have been omnibenevolent and have created us. If things like the ten commandments aren't rules for him, then the idea of god becomes unneccesary becomes we don't know what is really moral, if he created us. Anyway you look at it, god becomes evil or uneccesary and self countradictory.
Of course one could argue that god had no choice but to create us this way. But you should say goodbye to both omnipotence and omni benevolence. If god had no choice, then the god of the bible is evil for not admitting that.
Another way to state this arguement, can be borrowed from the wiki iron chariots website. http://wiki.ironchar...Problem_of_Evil
And if god is evil, he has no logical right to proscribe moral codes when he is no more moral then a devil or human pyschopath.
Kalam Cosmological Problem of Evil
We know that evil is an abstraction, and for it to exist it must be cognized. Either God is the cause of this cognition (part of his nature is not good) or God is not the cause of this cognition (two opposing forces of good and evil exist -Zoroastrianism) In Christianity, God knows all things. By virtue of this fact God is the creator of evil and the source of immorality.
- Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
- The Evil began to exist.
- Therefore, Evil must have a cause.
If premise 2 is wrong, then Evil must have existed from the beginning
Therefore if God exists either:
- Everything that did not begin to exist has no cause
- The Evil did not begin to exist.
- Therefore, Evil does not have a cause.
Given that God is supposedly flawless in every way, whatever amount of evil exists in the universe now, it is greater than the pre-creation amount of 0.00%. It is impossible to escape the fact that God's decision to create the universe increased the amount of evil in existence. Theists may fall back to the possibility that God did not know evil would be produced as a result of his creation, however this would mean he was not omniscient. In any case, the traditional "omnimax" god of Christianity has been disproven successfully.
- He is the source of evil and therefore not omnibenevolent,
- He has an equally powerful rival power
- He is not omnipotent.
Anyway hopefully that shows how the christian god countradicts himself and is therefore nonexistent.
Hopefully what I said here made sense.
Edited by Valk0010, 14 July 2012 - 11:55 PM.